Wednesday, August 02, 2006

anniversary of the bakersfield gimp

you're in for a real treat today
one of my best/worst rock'n'roll war stories
if you've spent enough time around me
you may have heard this one
if not
sit back relax and enjoy...

back to the early daze we go
saturday august 1st
the mannequin
bakersfield california
the MF were in the middle of a 14 date
3 week west coast tour
that would take us from texas
through arizona
new mexico
to the sunset strip and rick p.'s c-pipe (a story for later perhaps)
san fran
then back through nevada and colorado
there were even more dates booked than we ended up playing
we showed up and cancelled a few of them on the spot
FN questioned the purpose of this tour from the get-go
in san fran and oakland the shabbiness of the clubs
and sketchiness of the surroundings
didn't sit well with him
so he mounted several insurrections
all of them led to retreating to the next town
it was a little nourotic
and foreshadoweeee
our crafty booking agent p. nugent had gotten us
2 spectacular nights in bakersfield CA
with a hefty $500 guarantee both nights
i say hefty being that we were a relatively unknown band from texas
we probably wouldn't make the club any money
but the nuge was a sharky one

bakersfield has a kind of wacoesque feel to it
from the moment we rolled in
dusty and slow
more than a little creepy
it looked like a town half asleep
even on a friday night
lost in the valley
sun drenched and depressed
everything seemed to move in slo-mo
hometown of buck owens
buck teeth too?
we settled in to our roach infested motel 6 late afternoon
5 of us crammed into one room with 2 double beds
harold m. 6'4" 150 pound german/egyptian roadie on a cot
he had a funny slow low voiced germanish accent
highschool friend of F's from the el paso years
temporarily playing rock'n'roll band sidekick

the mannequin was bizarrely decked out with
scores of ex-department store
you guessed it
they were all wearing bondage gear and lingerie though
a little weird
during soundcheck i received the highest voltage microphone shock ever
many years have passed since
and i've never had the displeasure of receiving one even close to this one
nothing we tried remedied the situation
so after half an hour of wrangling with it
it was decided we needed some sort of pop filter to put over the mic
maybe try to reduce the current running to my lips and tongue?
off came drummer brad's black sock
there was no other option
he'd been wearing this sock in the van for at least 5 days
it was slipped delicately over the microphone like a condom
my lips pressed to it for 2 glorious nights of rock
i still remember clearly the awful metallic taste of electricity

come showtime night#1
we drew pretty poorly
like we knew we would
the nugent-promised radio and newspaper promotions strangely never materialized
go figure
the club was run by 2 partners
first partner:
a conservative looking totally non-descript guy
i don't even remember his name
the other one
a totally different story
his name was pinky
if there ever was a picture perfect stereotype of the hippie sanfran acid casualty
it was dear pinky
long braided hair
pigtails just like willy n.
round lennon granny glasses
tie-dyed headband
tie-dyed grateful dead t-shirt
ripped blue jeans
he drove a VW van with stickers and flowers covering every inch of it
a cartoon character brought to real life
had to be seen to be believed
i'll never forget him

first night came and went with not much action
in between sets on night 2 we're in the van having some pizza
me and harold in the front seat
we see 3 girls approach owner #1 on the streetcorner up ahead
they talk a bit and then they all come over to the van
he introduces us as "the band"
the girls say they're from texas
wow - what a coincidence
staying at the residence inn
visiting CA
don't remember the reason
it didn't matter
they were dressed kind of trampy
short plastic or faux leather skirts
big hair
lotsa hairspray
stiletto heals
lotsa clown makeup

the MF was 5 motley looking but ultimately pretty straight long hairs
brad was in AA
a condition of joining our band was we didn't drink
i never liked beer anyway
girls might've been our only vice
if any of us could ever get one
poor M Festival may have been the most debauchery challenged band
of all-time
so when the "texas" girls invited us to hang out after the show
it was a no-brainer
pinky told us to come back at 2:30am to settle up anyway
there was nothing to do until then
i was ready for some fun after 2 hours of swallowing electricity
and cozying up to a disgusting soaking wet black sock
harold and i were the only takers
the others too tired
none of the girls were very cute either
they weren't interested
so harold and i headed out alone

knock knock knock
standing at the door of the residence inn bakersfield
ready for our rock'n'roll adventure
looking pretty badass i might add
black hair down to our asses
both over six feet tall
i had my black suede cowboy boots on
making me 6' 6"
black jeans
white shirt
black leather vest with safety pins holding it together
i bet i looked like one pretty tough hombre that night in bakersfield CA
one of the girls opened the door
"hey - what took you guys so long?"
first thing we see before we even move one foot
right behind her
sitting in a chair
a topless 300 pound man with a leather mask on
a girlish squeal let loose from both tough-guy rockers
eyes buggin' out as we instantaneously run off like cheerleaders
in the opposite direction
"what the hell was that?" screams harold
a full octave higher than his regular speaking voice
van doors slam
peeling out of the parking lot in the super-sized white Ford van
swerving out of control
"what the fuck was that????????????"
"what the fuck???????"
shaking like two dunked kittens
2 of the girls run out into the parking lot
yelling after us to come back
they disappeared fast in the rearview

when we got back to the motel 6
we were still terrified
sure the gimp was coming after us
his beady eyes peering eagerly from two black holes in his leather mask
his puffy red lips glistening between the zippered teeth
"bolt the door!!!" advised harold
still singing soprano
the other guys said the girls had been ringing the phone off the hook
they were looking for us
odd thing was
we had never told them where we were staying

when i showed up at pinky's office
he looked like he'd just seen a ghost
"watcha doin' here man?"
waddaya mean?
we're here to get paid
"oh...yeah?...hold on a sec "
he gingerly dials the phone
says he's calling his partner
there was some music blasting in his office
he was talking hush hush on the phone
i couldn't make out what was being said
he puts his right hand over the receiver
leans toward me and says
" did the girls right?"
i go slack jawed
no pinky
we didn't do the girls
pinky's eyes kind of glaze over
then he slowly relays message
"uh...they didn't do the girls..."
nods a couple of times
his eyes sink to the floor
shoulders slump
he hangs up
the world's saddest hippie

you see their plan was faulty from the get go
even without the naked gimp we wouldn't have "done" the prostitutes
pinky and partner had unwittingly run up against
the world's tamest rock'n'roll band
next morning we rolled out of bakersfield CA
i haven't been back since


Anonymous elizabeth said...

that is the creepiest story i've ever heard. i'm seriously scared right now.

11:08 AM  
Blogger bucks burnett said...

You were born, born to be mild......

9:27 PM  
Blogger Centuryhouse said...

That's hilarious! Too weird to be made up :-)


ps - I had the same shock prob with an sm58 at a place in Tyler, and did the SAME thing with a black dress sock to cover it. Fortunately my house was only blocks from the club so I got a CLEAN sock. It worked fine until moisture from singing into it allowed it to start conducting again :-)

10:11 PM  
Blogger postmastabiotch said...


you wuss! you should have at least tried on the black leather mask... hahaha.. who knows.. you may have liked it! hahahahah!!!

that was the funniest damned story evah!!!

I didnt know that they pay with prostitutes in bakersfield... wow... and I thought fresno was the armpit of california....

6:53 AM  
Anonymous jd said...

salim n. is full of crap. the gimp is a metaphor. he has you all fooled.

7:44 AM  

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